Why Work With Me
I aim to be an investor who founders trust and can rely on. This means:
- Support: I’m a resource for you beyond just my dollars.
- Expertise: I’m happy to share any knowledge I have.
- Low ego: I help if I can, and get out of the way if I can’t.
- High trust: I act with integrity and professionalism.
- Respect for your time: Quick responses and minimal friction.
- Alignment: No zero-sum games; I win when you win.
- Empathy: I’ve been there, done that – and I’m on your side.
Read my testimonials to see what my portfolio founders have to say about me.
Ways I Can Help
My secret sauce is that I spent a decade as the founder of a successful tech startup; but before that I spent another decade as a professional investor at a large hedge fund. I think this combination is pretty unique, and it lets me help you more effectively.
My founder experience helps you tactically: on go-to-market, on positioning and story-telling; on data and API strategy; on culture and recruiting; and perhaps most important, with alignment and empathy. I’ve worn lots of different hats as a founder; as a result I can help on almost all operational aspects of early-stage startups. Here are some examples:
Go-To-Market: A great product won’t change the world unless it’s matched with great distribution. And modern distribution is complex: inbound, outbound, bottom-up, top-down, pincer, product-driven, sales-driven, community-driven, channel-driven, hybrid – there are so many interacting options. I can help you navigate them.
Data and API Strategy: I know the modern data ecosystem well, and can help on almost every aspect of data in your organization: business and commercial strategy, infrastructure and technical choices, benefits and limitations of data, building effective data teams, and more.
Network Effects: Network effects businesses are hard to start, but extremely powerful at scale. As the founder of a saas-enabled marketplace with multiple overlapping network effects, I have a lot of insight into the nuances of building and scaling such businesses.
Resources and community: I write regular memos for my portfolio founders, covering important market and macro trends, tactical and strategic tips, functional resources, and more; they tend to be more concrete and actionable than most “startup advice”. My founders also form a supportive and friendly community that I foster.
Empathy: Being a founder is hard. As a founder who has been through the venture-backed journey myself, from inception to exit, I believe I can be more aligned, more insightful, and more empathetic about the challenges you face than most investors without that experience.
My investing experience helps you strategically: on resource allocation and business planning; on financing and downstream investors; on competition, moats and ecosystem; on what it takes to win in the long term. Here are some examples:
Resource Allocation: Balancing growth rates and burn rates, team size and team speed; retaining optionality while seizing opportunity; and ultimately, maximizing your risk-adjusted expected value: resource allocation is central to the CEO’s job, and I can help you think systematically and rigorously through it.
Financing: I’ve raised lots of venture capital, and advised founders who’ve raised lots more. I can help with: deciding when and why and how much to raise; building a powerful pitch (and the company to support it); executing a disciplined and effective fund-raising process; negotiating terms; and closing the deal.
Introductions: I can help with introductions and references for potential customers, partners, job candidates, expert operators, and down-stream investors. Specifically, I can provide warm intros to partners at many well-known VC firms, from seed to Series B, across the USA, Canada and India.
Story-Telling: The ability to craft a compelling narrative – for customers, for partners, for investors, for employees, for the press – is an essential part of the founder’s toolkit, and it’s something I have a lot of experience with. Category creation is an especial strength.
Recruiting and Culture: The team you build is the company you build. To attract and retain and empower and scale a truly world-class team is perhaps the biggest challenge for founders today. Creating a strong, sustainable, high-performance, happy culture is the key to solving this challenge, and it’s something I pride myself on.
Macro: Businesses are not built in a vacuum. Successful founders need to understand the macro environment; economic cycles and the cost of capital; business model evolution; customer, partner and investor dynamics; and more – and this is truer than ever in 2023.